tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 20, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
mr. keating: thank you, mr. speaker, i will now yield to the phenomenal representative of mr. sullivan, who will be joining countless people as we have already seen from representatives from maryland, representatives we'll hear from from vermont, new york, california and new jersey, all envious of being associated with massachusetts officials and mr. sullivan. we understand the humility. and i yield my time to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. . . mr. connolly: i thank my colleague. i assure him it bonet be -- it won't be lengthy. when i first heard that barry sullivan was retiring, my reaction was, say it ain't so. i've been in this body for five
years and one of the first people i met in orientation was barry sullivan. and as a son of boston, myself, as an irish catholic myself, as somebody whose family vacations where cod periodically, barry also vacations, i felt i was at home. i felt that there was a human face to this institution. who cared about it passionately, who had ties to tip o'neill and joe mogley, two great heros in my family's household in bostonment and i think barry has provided incredible service to the people's body, to this house, and has tried to ease stress, has tried to make our lives more comfortable. i cannot imagine what we're all going to do when our pager goes off and we don't hear that
boston sta catow, you know, there will be four votes. this is the last series of the day. and that's barry sullivan. and if you come from new england, those are comforting tones. barry has contributed 33 years to this institution. i don't think he ever lost a sense of reverence for what this institution is all about. and i think in showing that reference he reminds those of us who hold elective office here just how privileged we are to serve in the people's body. he never lost sight of that and hope none of us will either. and, barry, i think that's your lasting legacy. thank you to you and your wonderful wife, barbara, and your three kids. enjoy retirement. god bless.
mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. keating: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to introduce now for comments about mr. sullivan a person who shared the same mentor in many respects, a person that we all admire so greatly, that's the late congressman joseph the motion to considerly and aide like to recognize -- mockley and i'd like to yield to the gentleman from massachusetts for whatever time he may consume. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my colleague from massachusetts. it is a real privilege to be here with my colleagues to honor barry sullivan. and when i heard about his retirement, i couldn't help but think that this is the end of an era. as my colleague mentioned, both barry and i came here under the mentorship of a great man, joe
mockley, who understood what public service meant and the best tradition -- in the best tradition. and i think one of the things that i admire about barry is that he has been a public servant in the highest tradition. he has been got-to guy for everything and anything. and, you know, a lot of people don't understand who don't work here about all the people who kind of work behind the scenes, whoing work longer hours than we do, and barry is amongst that group of people. always here. early mornings, late nights, separated from his family at times when we couldn't get our act together here in the congress and he has been incredible. and so we're going to miss you, barry. for a whole bunch of reasons. and i'm going to miss you also because of your friendship. you and barbara have been great friends to lisa and me.
you've given us advice on how to raise our kids and where to send them to school and we appreciate that very, very much. but i want you to know that there are so many of us here who have high regard for you. and who value your service and your friendship and i'll just close by saying that i'm grateful but i want you to know that we're going to be friends for life. with that, mr. speaker, i thank you for the time and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. keating: i thank the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. sullivan has had this position as manager of the cloakroom on the democratic side since 1987 and he has served different leaders in that capacity and i'm sure one of the highlights of his career has been having that position when history was changed and we had our first woman who was speaker of the house.
and i would like to yield whatever time she may consume to our esteemed leader from california, ms. pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you, mr. keating. i thank you for yielding. i thank you and mr. capuano and the members of the massachusetts delegation for bringing us together to honor a wonderful friend to all of us. . speaker, in late 1979, the legendary congressman joseph mockley, a colleague to many of us who had the privilege to call him colleague, ran into the son of a friend and former colleague, leo sullivan in boston. he knew that the young boston state college student had served as a page on beacon hill and had an interest in public service. he suggested that it was time for this young man to travel to our nation's capitol, to serve in congress, led by another massachusetts legend, speaker
tip o'neill. that young man was and is barry sullivan. when he arrived in washington, the following march, he thought he would spend just a few years here before returning to his beloved south boston. 33 years later he will finally leave his post in the democratic cloakroom, an institution in its own right, a source of information for members, he leaves as a committed public servant to the congress and to our country. as one of barry's former colleagues once said, down here members are looking for somebody who knows what's going on. and barry always knew. he was the trusted source, has been the trusted source. of what was happening on the floor, what bill was up for a vote, what issues members were tackling on any given day. and barry always knew what was going on, in addition to the
floor agenda, what was important for members to know. public service, because public service is in his blood. as a son of one of the central players of the mid 20th century in massachusetts state government. so prom nenlt was barry's father leo in local politics that he escorted then-president-elect john kennedy from logan airport to the boston garden on election night, 1960. a great honor for a great massachusetts leader and family. barry would come here and be escorting presidents, prime ministers and kings over and over again and he did so with grace and with respect -- and commanding respect. boston is in his blood. as a proud native of south boston, a devoted red sox fan, did i say that they are -- won the world series?
of course everybody knows that. ok. you can cheer for barry as well as for the red sox. ok? i was at the game. all right. a devoted red sox fan, i repeat, a father and husband who takes his family back to his hometown and to cape cod every year without fail. and now with his career in the capitol coming to a close, we all know that barry looks forward to spending as much time as he can on the cape with his beloved wife, barbara, and their three sons. barry sullivan has been an int cal part of our team and our system. he's been a clearing house of information, from his first day in the cloakroom to his last as a man in charge. his service has proven invaluable, his contributions have been incredible. just remarkable. he gives you the answer before you ask the question. he anticipates our every need. to barbara and the whole sullivan family, thank you for
sharing your husband and father with the united states congress for so long. to barry, you have earned the respect of members of congress and the gratitude of countless members of congress who have served in this chamber. thank you for taking a chance, for coming to washington to serve tip, at the invitation of joe mockley, what legends, and for everybody serving serfing us all with grace, good humor. though you're leaving us on the day-to-day basis, i hope will you be no stranger to us in that you will return on many occasions. thank you, barry sullivan. mr. keating: thank you, madam leader. we all know that it's no secret that in this house there are often great divisions and probably the most profound skis
much that exists in this house -- schism that exists in this house is between red sox fans and yankee fans. but to show you the esteem that mr. sullivan has held with our members, i have the privilege of yielding whatever time he may consume to the gentleman rom new york, mr. serrano. mr. serrano: i thank the gentleman and you're correct. you used up my first line. i live a few blocks away from yankee stadium and so for a yankee fan, to honor a red sox fan, shows the kind of love and respect that i have for him. i don't now if i'll be able to survive or sleep tonight, but i will say congratulations, barry, on the red sox winning the world series. you notice that didn't come out too well. but it's not that easy.
rry sullivan, when i first came here and i found out that barry sullivan was running the cloakroom, i expected to see barry sullivan the movie star of the 1940's, in the blabbling and white movies. instead i found a class act and a person who really cared about the membership. and that's what's important. that he always took care of the membership. one of the things that always amazed me about barry was his ability to put up with us. how many times does a person get to answer the same question 200 times in a row to the same people? when are we getting out tonight, barry? when do you think votes will end? do i have time to go to dinner? well, mr. serrano, blah, blah, lah, blah. and he would do it. and then you'd show up and would you show up and he'd do it. by the third time i would have
told everybody to come in the cloakroom and i'll make one speech to everybody and then you can all get out of here and leave me alone. but there was always that ability for him to understand the needs we had, the information we needed and the fact that he provided that for us. but he also had a sense of humor. i gave him a hard time for so long. i've been here 23 years and had running lines with him, one of them, walking through a cloakroom was, are the red sox still in the league? that was one of the ones. the other one was, what's the loudest noise in september? and he would actually go on and say, what? and i'd say, the red sox falling apart. and this was on and on and on. but through it all, barry, you showed more than just being a sports fan. you showed that you were a class human being, that you were a person who cared for a person who cared in terms of how we got here. i think you as much as anyone else understood that none of us get a point -- get appointed
here. that we have to go beg in front of a legion hall or in front of a subway station or in front of a supermarket for a vote and youen understood that. and that's -- and you understood that. and that's how you treated us and i think that's how we treated you. you were the ones who told us if there were peanuts coming to that basket in front of you, when we were looking for peanuts or chock late or whatever, you were the person who made sure everything ran well. and i'm going to miss you. i'm really going to miss you. because i think you're one of the classiest acts around here. i hope you stay in touch and i will just end this way, we have in spanish, and i will apologize to the stenographer and i'll translate it later. tell me who you walk with and i'll tell you who you are. we walk with you, we are you. let's hope that we have learned from you. hank you, barry.
mr. capuano: i yield now to a member who will represent barry in different ways, possibly, officially at some point. the gentleman from meags -- massachusetts that represents he town of falmouth. >> after hearing him pay tribute to mr. sullivan. mr. keating: i do hope the yankees sign robinson cano and i hope they go way over the luxury threshold to do it. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. keating: just briefly, when i came to this house, not knowing much, i asked for advice from a lot of people and i can't
tell you how many people told me to seek out barry sullivan for whatever you need, whether it's a personal need or knowledge of the city, whether it's knowledge of legislative practice, whether it's knowledge on what to do in the formal or informal structure, they told me to seek out barry sullivan and no better advice was given to me. i congratulate him on his 33 years and i want to say been amazing career, because as leadership has changed, he has maintained that position despite who was in the democratic leadership and that's a tribute to the job that he does. i also have felt a kinship with him as i began to know a little bit about him. i saw there was a lot in common. he comes from a police family, his father was police commissioner. my father was a police officer, my brother was a police officer
and his father was a state senator and i served in the state senate and part of that time representing the city of boston as well. we both shared the great privilege of having a mentor, joe moakley was a congressman in my district in my days when i was in the state legislature and i called upon him time and time again for advice and i realized that both barry sullivan and i profited greatly from that knowledge, not only of the institutional knowledge that he had, but the good character and type of person that joe moakley was. barry and i both had an early interest in politics. we both studied and majored in political science and even our own sons went to the same college at st. joe's and we both paid those tuition figures to have that occur. a lot of people will be saying
good-bye to barry and will be saying that they are sorry they won't be seeing him as much. i think i'm probably in the minority, where i will be able to say i probably will see you more, because i'm sure that as he has more time to spend on his own to recreate and be with his family, i'm going to see him on the beaches in falmouth heights, see him fishing and watching the cape cod league and joying one of the best places in the world to retire to. i wish and barbara well. good health. enjoy those years and thank you, mr. sullivan, for a job well done. i yield back. thank you. mr. capuano: i recognize another gentleman, mr. andrews from new
jersey. mr. andrews: i thank my friend for yielding and with a sense of real mixed emotions, join this discussion tonight, certainly with gratitude and pride for barry's 33 years of service, but for a real sense of regret that he will not be part of our evidence lives and work as he has been for all these years. the house is a chaotic and noisy place. the bell rings and hundreds of people descend on the floor and have their ideas and needs and in that sea of chaos, you look for a person that stands tall and strong and is unflappable no matter what. barry, for all of us, for all those years, you have been one of those people. nothing interviews terse barry sullivan. there is no problem too great, no controversy too bitter. he is the same optimistic,
friendly, honest, cheerful, strong person no matter what. and you have been an inspiration to all of us. from where you know where barry comes, his strength is easy to understand. i did not have the privilege of sharing the heritage that he has from boston, but i know his family very, very well. i know his beloved father-in-law, former representative bill hughes served here and perhaps his greatest gift was barbara. that's probably the reason why barry stayed, because he met her and started a beautiful life together. their three wonderful sons were educated and raised and i have the privilege of working with his son brendon, representing the people of our first congressional district in new jersey. nothing you do surprises us because of your inner strength and your qualities and your optimism. the one thing about barry that
did surprise me, however, is that he did not start growing his beard in the middle of the summer and let it go to the end of the world series like his beloved red sox. there was some discussion of that. he was nice to everyone, even the yankees' fans. he showed them respect. barry, on behalf of our country, our party, my constituents and my family, we thank you for your strength and your goodness and your inspiration. we know we will see you many times in the future and wish you god speed. congratulations. mr. capuano: mr. speaker, i would like to yield to the the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch. well well barry, we are going -- mr. welch:, barry, we are going to miss you and everyone has been singing your praises. when i came here in 2007, many of the members who have spoken have been here many years
longer. you were treated like you were here forever, everyone was treated the same. the goodwill, good sense of humor, the sense that we are part of something larger than ourselves, that is something barry conveyed. we used to have pages here. remember that? we had these young people, full of hopes and dreams about how they could make a contribution in this country, how they could make this a better country and how they could be better people. barry, it was amazing to watch you with those kids, because you had to get them organized. they had to learn all of our names and would be sitting there in the cloakroom studying the faces and these young kids would be saying high to mr. miller, to mr. welch and mr. capuano and it was such a reassuring observation, such a wonderful scene there where these kids,
boys and girls, felt that they had a big job in a big institution. you could see them getting excited about public service and you could see them taking seriously the responsibilities that go along with it which at that moment was learning the names and matching them to the faces of the people that were here. and barry, you were a great teacher. it just isn't they got our names right, but you inspired them to take the next step and to aspire to achieve their dreams. it's a life well lived when you can treat the people in it with love and respect, when you can commit yours to the building of an institution, that you can help leave it behind in a better shape than you found it. thank you very much, barry. i yield back. mr. capuano: i yield to the gentleman from new york, mr.
higgins. mr. higgins: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i want to say as a freshman member here several years ago, barry made me feel very special and i thought it had to do with the fact that was because i come from south buffalo which is like south boston without the accent. this favorite son of south boston defined this institution with a sense of order most certainly, the sense of pride and purpose and humor as well. avid boston red sox fan and boston bruins fan that made hundreds of members here feel very special as you did the first day i arrived. barry, i thank you as a member of this house and i want to
commend you for your years of service and wish you well in the years ahead of you. thank you very much. mr. capuano: i would like to yield to the gentleman from california, mr. miller. mr. miller: i thank the gentleman for yielding and organizing this tribute to barry and to his family, because we know the time he gives away from them on our behalf for his service here. i'm one of the few people to say i was here before you, barry, but i thought everybody here was from boston, being from the west coast. i want to join my colleagues. we have a strong and deep feeling about the service you rendered to us. sometimes when we were pleasant and sometimes when we weren't so pleasant and sometimes when we were haried and sometimes when we were relaxed, you were stable.
even if you couldn't know the answer of the question when are we getting out and you would look and say well, give it your best estimate because you didn't have a clue of what was going to happen on the floor. there was an assessment, your sense of what was really taking place on the floor. yes, there were 50 amendments filed, but you had a handicap system and you figured 30 would go by noonan another five would be dropped out. so don't give up your early reservation. that handy capping was worth a lot when you come from the west coast. thank you for that. your service to us, the dignity with which you have treated the members of congress. rather s when we can be demanding because we are haried, it has been a wonderful relationship to have you on our side and cloakroom taking care
of us and answering questions from our families when they call and want to know what they might expect in terms of our service and our time here. i think joe moakley picked a good guy and did right by you and did right by us. and i want to thank you and i join mr. welch also. i was a big fan of the experience that the pages were able to garner here and all of us have met people who are pages who now live in our districts and remember that experience or was key to their actions and it was unfortunate that we weren't able to hold on to that program, but your management and your care and kind remarks when they were being youthful about what might be taking place to remind them of what was going on in the house i think was one of the lessons of their lives that they will never forget. thank you very much for that
management and oversight of those young people who have gone on in so many instances to make major contributions in our communities and in our country. thank you so much for your service. mr. capuano: i yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr. ryan. mr. ryan: i want to thank the gentleman. , barry, i just want to say that there has been a lot of kind words here tonight and i think a lot of the words are very appropriate. but i got to say, i don't even like you. you are full of bad news all the time. we want to go home, you won't let us. we want to come in later, you won't let us, we want to go home a day early, you won't let us. barbara, i don't know how you
put up with him. as a young boy, i used to go to church with my grandfather and he was an usher at the church. he wasn't the priest, he wasn't the head of parish council, but he was the guy who made everything run. he helped run the festival, he was the top usher, so he had to handle all the money, he scheduled everybody and i grew up watching him as an appreciation of how many people that you may not see in that instance on the altar or here speaking on the floor how many people work to make things happen. and barry is in that cloakroom making things happen, making things run smoothly, not in the newspaper, not getting the headlines and i just want to say thanks. i worked for a member of congress 20 years ago, and he had the old, the old things used to have to slide on.
it was huge, seemed like back then and i remember as a staffer hearing barry's voice and just heard this voice, two bells, three bells, four bells, 15 minutes, five minutes. and two years, i would hear that and when i finally became a member and i started hearing that voice and i got to meet barry, i thought i made it. now i get to respond what has been telling people to do for so many years and it was a great honor and then then minority leader pelosi started the 30-something working group and kendrick meek and debey and i would come to the floor two or three nights and stay very late. sometimes 10:00, 11:00. he said are you going to go tonight, mr. ryan? i would say, yeah, sorry, barry.
but that's the dedication that you had. we love you. always have a smile and always something nice to say. barbara, i know there are a lot of late nights here and barbara, you are the best. have a great retirement. . mr. keating: i'd like to yield to the gentleman from south boston, mr. lynch. mr. lynch: thank you very much. thank you, mr. speaker. and i want to thank my friend, mr. capuano, for reserving this time on our behalf to recognize our great friend, mr. speaker. barry sullivan has been here a long time. i know that the title cloakroom manager has a rather antiquated sound to it. as a matter of fact, there was the rumor around here that barry sullivan actually was the manager of the cloakroom back
when they still wore cloaks. i'm not sure he's been here that long. but i do know the beginning of his service started with marching in the st. patrick's day parade in south boston with joe mockley, our dear departed friend. and now, after 33 years, our friend has decided to retire from his position and it is a truly bittersweet moment i think for a lot of us. barry has been an extension of our staffs. i will miss the daily contact i've had with barry because most of the time he's reminding me to vote and make sure i make all the votes but he's also an extension of our families in many ways. so many of us travel back and forth from our home districts to -- mine in south boston and around the city of boston, back
here to washington, and barry's an extension of that. i have the good fortune to call barry my friend since the day i arrived here in washington, d.c.. shortly after the attacks on september 11, i came in in a special election and came in basically as the only democrat elected at that time. and i was given one bit of advice by my friends and they said, make sure you get to know barry sullivan. in the cloakroom. and that is some of the best advice that i've ever received in coming here. barry has -- he may not know it, but to a new member of congress, his assistance is immeasurable. especially when you're just first getting used to understanding the rhythm here in washington, d.c. and the importance of the whole process here. barry has been in d.c. all
these years now, at least 33 years, but he's never lost his kekts to his hometown -- connection to his hometown of south boston. as a matter of fact, barry may not know this, but barry is actually still voting in south boston. each and every election. there's an old south boston rule that if you -- if someone moves away or even if they pass away, as long as you know how that person would have voted, you're allowed to vote on their behalf. i'm actually kidding on that. but barry has never lost his connection to his local community in south boston, as well as his love for cape cod. a true son of south boston. barry and his family still make their annual trip to thelma, massachusetts, and always stopping at sullivan's at castle island for a couple of hot dogs. while there's no doubt that barry loves to get back to the cape, there was always the
rumor that barry traveled back home simply to work on his boston accent. while i have -- i may have had trouble when i first got here talking to some of our colleagues from the deep south, i never needed an interpreter to talk to my friend barry. i still remember how proud we were back in 2007 when standing right in this chamber and this aisle, at the state of the union address, it was barry sullivan who made the announcement, ladies and gentlemen, mr. speaker, the president of the united states. and while most of the country didn't know what he was saying, a lot of people back in south boston and in our district were very, very proud of that moment. the phone was ringing off the hook. and, mr. speaker, there are a lot of members here who are the face of the congress, we're up here at the microphone all the time on a continue all --
continueual basis, much to the chagrin of the people we represent sometimes, but behind the scenes it's people like barry sullivan who make things work. respectful r, his way of dealing with everyone, whether it's a page or whether it's the speaker of the house, whether it's a democrat, he's even nice to the republicans. the think it helps camaraderie, the way this body works, i think it goes beyond what people would rightfully expect, that barry conducted his job with that level of respect and dignity and efficiency in guiding us in our jobs and in our responsibilities. on a personal level, i'm proud
to call barry a friend. and i've also come to know his wife, barbara, saint barbara, we call her, and his sons, barry, brendan and brian. we do regret that he's decided endeavors, other to say that nt the job that you did and have , e here, barry, the dignity the professionalism that you have lent to this congress and to your country is something that we are enormously proud of . i cannot think of a better compliment and recognition of a job well done. you have been a blessing, you have been a blessing to this congress, to both sides of the aisle, and to this institution and to your country.
so, barry, we all wish you well in your future endeavors, we wish the best for barbara and your sons and your family and i thank you for all of your kindness, you have shown towards me and towards all of the other members here and their families during our times in this congress. god bless you and thank you. god speed. mr. capuano: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell. mr. pascrell: mr. speaker, michael, thank you for putting this together tonight. i come tonight not only to talk about barry but to talk about all the staff. so, please understand what i'm saying tonight, if you feel that there is an injection in
my words, a politic, so be it. first of all, i never what he said any of the time. so it's not a question of aving a translation. thank you for your service to your country. and thank you for your service to this congress. every congress person. the entire membership has been so fortunate to have you here. and you know what i mean when i say, barry, location, location, location. you ere right, you fit and did what you said you were going to do. i do not speak to you in terms of your title.
because titles come and go. to your ak to you, character. you are a person of character. your word is always your bond. we joked, we commenced back and forth, we joked about sports, we joked about life, but you ere an example for all of us hat you move forward and you may be on, as someone might say, the downside of the mountain, but you're really not. you're really not. i say this to all the staff members, i've been here for over -- close to 17 years.
and, barry, you're leaving at a , e of most interest to me since i always made it a habit when i was a teacher, when i was in the mayor's office, everybody. talk to the secretary, the administrator, the young lady , the elevator maintenance man, the guy that took care of the boiler. e guy who used to tell the mayor, when in the middle of the winter the temperature in the council chambers was 80 degrees, and i'd tell him to go down and stoke the fire and make it so hot so we'd get the meeting over with. you got to know who to talk to. you don't talk to the mayor,
you don't talk to the superintendent of the schools, you don't talk to the speaker, you talk to the baries of this world that make the place run. and if you don't learn that, then you're in for a sad awakening when you get here. public servants have been maligned in this very institution. public servants have not been appreciated. and i want to speak and i've done many times on this floor, barry, spoken for -- i mean, public servants can speak for themselves and i guess i'm a public servant too. but the disrespect shown, with a pat on the back and then a spit in your eye. that doesn't belong here. because if we're really
grateful for what you do, mr. mr. mr. police officer, firefighter, mr. teacher, mr. congressman, if we really appreciate it, we're straight with you. we respect you. we want to make sure you get fair compensation for your pay. so you don't have to feel like you have your hat out. you have raised this institution, you have made it a better place, all of you. so, mr. speaker, go back to those who aren't here right now and tell them, when we lose the appreciation for the staff people who serve us every day, who service our country every day, we are the worst for it -- worse for it, not the better. so, barry, i've never heard an evil word spoken about you.
because there was nothing to say. of negativity. anything to say. thank you for who you are. hope i see you again. and you've made an impression on all of us. god bless you. god bless your beautiful family. god bless america. thank you. yield back. mr. capuano: thank you, mr. pascrell. barry, i wanted to save this until the last because honestly, stuff about life is just stuff. and it's all interesting. you had an interesting life. great. for me, i wanted to do this because i consider you a friend.
and don't make friends that easily. i make a lot of acquaintances. i don't consider a lot of people close friends. to me friendship is based on whether i think somebody will go through the fire for me, like i would go through the fire for them. my judgment on you is that you would. it has a lot to do with the way you were raised and i don't know much about it, but i do. when you were raised in south boston, i was being raised in summerville. it was only one place in the world tougher than south boston that the time and that was summerville. and i will tell you that an awful lot of people come out of those situations bitter, a lot of difficulties, not knowing what to do, angry at the world. a lot of people come out of it the opposite. make the best of it you can. it's better to go through life with a smile, take yourself a little less seriously than it is
to be bitter. and you've done that. you have done it with grace. to me, that means an awful lot. i will tell you that always comforting for me to hear the voice on the machine. i think it's a joke, i think 's hilarious and i enjoyed catching you up on your pro english. speaker isn't the way you have said it. you got to get it right, get back into boston and get it straight. i think that's great, but i will tell you that me, the relationship started before we even knew it at st. john's prep. you are the only person i know that wept there besides me. the only difference between you and me, you finished it and i got kicked out. but in those days and i have no
idea, i never asked why you were there. i know why i was there. i was there to be plucked out of a difficult situation with the hopes that things go a different way. you couldn't take the summerville out of me and didn't work out the way my porntse thought it would might. the brothers' beatings were nothing to me, natural life. to me, that tells me something. you had it right from the beginning. good upbringing and treat people with respect. you understand the needs of the members and you treat us like human beings and to me, that friendship doesn't go away. i hate the fact that you are retiring. i hate it. and i hate it because i don't take change too well. i like certain stable things in my life. i hate the fact that joe moakley
isn't with us anymore. i know life changes and i hope you a great retirement and i hope you enjoy your wife. my wife is also a barbara. and there is no r's in there. you don't need that letter. it's an extra letter, just get rid of it. i hope you have a great retirement. i hope you realize that you always, always, always going to have friends here. i don't care where i am or where your if there is anything i can do to help you or your family, i don't have to say it because i know you know it, it's what we do, it's what we enjoy doing. you're my friend. i don't come to this well very often, as you well know. it's a unique experience tore me. i think most of what is said here is insincere and read off papers. i just want to take a minute to
sincerely tell you that i have enjoyed our relationship, i consider you a good friend and i wish you the best of life wherever you go, whatever you do and it's been a joy working with you and i'm proud of the fact that i can call you a friend. thank you for your service, barry. thank you for your friendship. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts yields back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentlewoman from from north carolina, ms. foxx, is recognized as the designee of the majority leader. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. larry woods, a constituent from mine from winston-salem is accomplishing groundbreaking
work in service. under larry's leadership, the housing authority of winston-salem is transforming the template for north carolina's housing programs through a program called path, or projects for assistance in the transition from homelessness. through path, the organization works with community groups who are proactively seeking to reduce and eventually end their dependence on government support. path's community collaborations provide specialized job skills, education, employment preparation and career placement services to equip families as they turn their dreams into reality. the path concept championed by larry woods and his team has capitalized on community resources, eliminated duplication and gaps in service and reduced service costs.
participants in the path program soon will also be able to benefit from access to special stepup housing at the housing authority's new modern facilities. in the near future, some individuals working to improve their lives through path will be able to move into the oaks, a new 50-unit development located in winston-salem. the oaks will feature a variety of apartments and provide a valuable incentive for participants as they move forward in their personal journey towards self-sufficiency. an open house was recently held at the oaks where two completed units were shown to the public and i would like to congratulate all involved in that accomplishment. larry and his team's forward-thinking approach to public housing has changed the lines of many in north carolina. the path program is just one component of their efforts to advance their mission of direct
service in a fiscally responsible way. communities throughout our country looking to overcome the challenge of homelessness can find new ideas to meet the needs of their citizens by looking to the great example of inston-salem's path program. mr. speaker, community spirit is alive and well in north carolina's fifth district. the bush high school band boosters are working towards the al of replacing deck-aid old uniforms and equipment. the $30,000 price tag goes well beyond a single year budget. in their effort they reached out to a bakery in winston-salem and the two have opened a
fundraising store, much like fundraising stores operating for others. . and mrs. clay and others graciously donated a store front and band boosters are selling wonderful dewey products as they will until christmas. the store is run by volunteers. band members, parents, grandparents and community supporters and more than one-third of the store's profits will go directly to the high school band. this level of team work, spirit of volunteerism, generosity and commitment to local communities is a testament to the wonderful people living in the fifth istrict.
mr. speaker, national industries for the blind sell brates its 75th anniversary this year and i congratulate n.i.b. on this achievement. the work, its team members and affiliates do every day in service to blind and visually-impaired americans is deserving of national attention and thanks. n.i.b. teams with 91 associated nonprofit agencies to extend opportunities for economic and personal independence to men and women throughout america who are blind. n.i.b. goes about this goal primarilyly by connecting visually-impaired individuals with jobs, good jobs they can be proud of. in my home state, winston-salem industries for the blind has worked on behalf of visually impaired citizens of north
carolina since 1936. last year, under the leadership of executive director, david horton and industries for the blind connected 309 local residents with fulfilling job opportunities at manufacturing facilities in winston and asheville. as a visually impaired person myself, i have great appreciation for n.i.b.'s commitment to help those with severe sight challenges. what they describe as the, quote, confidence and independence to contribute to society and fulfill personal dreams of having a job, end quote. to the folks at n.i.b. and local industries throughout the country, congratulations on 75 years of faithful service and best wishes for many more years
to come. mr. speaker, the prayers of the american people remain with filipino people as they struggle o recover in the wake of the typhoon. it claimed thousands of lives. displaced millions and left widespread devastation throughout the islands. the gravity of the crisis is heartbreaking. the united states and many international aid organizations have been quick to help our friends in the philippines. an international christian relief organization head quartered in boon, north carolina, is among them. members of the samaritans first are on the ground in the philippines right now providing
medical support and basic survival supplies such as food and hygiene kits, temporary shelter items and clean drinking water. as part of the international response team, samaritans first is living out its mission to provide, quote, spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world, end quote. its team members on the ground the biblical ng directive to practice faith by visiting orphans and widows in the midst of their distress. knowing full well, the anormity of the struggle and depth of pain before them, we commit to keep a prayerful vigil for the sam march tans first team.
samaritans first team and their partners and for the millions whose lives have been changed by he tragedy of the typhoon. mr. speaker, with the recent honoring of our nation's venerble veterans, it is appropriate to mens a group of my constituents who have accepted an ongoing mission to help our military heroes and their families. started three years ago by ex-marine mike beasley, the allen heroes ministry operates out of sandy ridge baptist church in nickry, north carolina. influence by ts honoring families that have expressed the loss of a family member in combat. through this noble undertaking,
members of the fallen heroes ministry have reached out to many families that have experienced the loss of a loved one in iraq or afghanistan and even a family in hickory who lo a son long ago in vietnam. the fallen heroes ministry serves as a reminder to congregations nationwide to remain engaged in service to america's here oogs and their families, -- heroes and their families, since the loss of a soldier brings heartbreak. the fallen heroes ministry abides by noble vision striving to bring together families of our fallen to our communities to foster an environment to help with their collective healing process. their work is deserving of praise and their calling in ervice to our heroes and loved
ones, shows just a bit of the spirit that sets america apart n the world. mr. speaker, the boone area chamber of commerce recently recognized the late charles church of valley cruces as the recipient of the 2013 tuck which willer award for community development. what a way to honor his legacy. for charles could not be more deserving. he was a farmer, a teacher, a visionary and a friend of folks well beyond wautaga. he was instrumental in building the local organic farming community and is known for
establishing a broad food network in the boone area. charles understood the interdependency of the farm and city. he valued cooperation above competition and possessed the spirit of innovation that has always characterized great north carolinians. a successful farmer, charles self-lessly mentored both young -- selflessly mentored both young and experienced growers. his pioneering ideas and dedicated spirit continued to guide many throughout our community. without his vision, energy and dedication, organic farming and the entire locally grown food network in wautaga wouldn't be what it is today. the tuck willer award remembers harles as a kind, generous and
tireless advocate for farmers and above all an honored member of our north carolina community . and though the community still very much misses his presence and his counsel, the examples set by charles church, ever the ptimist, continues to inspire. yield at, mr. speaker, i the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, will be administered 30 minutes. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i just returned from visiting with a hardworking americans down on the national mall,
including tomwise from colorado, who are camped out and fasting in front of the capitol on the national mall. it's called the fast for families, a call for immigration reform, and a pathway to citizenship. nd fasting this month are many fine americans using their own suffering to send a clear message to us here in washington, to their elective leaders, that the moral and economic toll of congress' failure to pass immigration reform is simply too great. this is an economic cause, yes, a security cause, yes, but it is a moral cause, to unite families, to allow people to give back to our country, to make it greater. men and women from all corners of the country are pleading with us to pass comprehensive
immigration reform. h.r. 15 here in the house reduces the deficit by close to $200 billion, creates over 100,000 jobs for americans, secures our borders, unites families, makes sure that we have people with the skills we need to build a 21st century economy. and all that it requires is action here on the floor of the house. there are many others in states including arizona, nebraska, california, new york and pennsylvania, who are also fasting and depriving themselves of food to demonstrate their passion for fixing our broken immigration system. i want to share with you the words of jesus ramirez, a 16-year-old high school student from indianapolis, whose parents brought him to the united states when he was just 7 years old. to escape the violence that was gripping his home country of mexico.
he says, quote, my family and 11 million families out there who are undocumented are living in the shadows and living with the fear that one day they will come home and not see a loved one. end quote. sadly, mr. speaker, every day, until congress acts, jesus' worst fears come true for the 1,100 men, women and children who who are forcibly deported from the united states because our broken immigration system provides no recourse, provides no way under current law to get right with the law. no remedy, no line to get in for people for whom we say, get in line. immigration reform is about creating that line and the people who are here illegally will go to the end of the line, behind people who are in process under our current mmigration system. someone from philadelphia says
she has f.h.a. friendses who deal with hostile and exploitive conditions in the workplace but are afraid to report it or to change jobs because they're worried about being asked to produce documents that they don't have and, again, have no way to get under current law. according to clara, she has friends that are yelled at and treated less than equal simply because there's no way for them to get right with the law. there are women across our country, mr. speaker, who are victims of domestic abuse but don't seek the help they desperately need from authorities because they fear the risk of deportation from those very same authorities that should be there to protect them. from ham harm -- from harm. since 1994, there's been more than 6,000 reported deaths on the u.s.-mexico border, comprehensive immigration reform will finally secure our
southern border. let's heed the call of the fasters, of those who pray passionately for comprehensive immigration reform. as reverend jim walz said, quote, for people of faith, cal issue, a plit but a moral one. and for christians, how we treat 11 million undocumented people, the strangers among us, is how we treat christ himself, end quote. sad to report, mr. speaker, it's been 145 days since the bipartisan senate immigration bill passed with 2/3 of the senate, and it's rare, mr. speaker, here in my time serving in this body, that 2/3 of the senate can agree on anything, but to agree on something of the importance of immigration reform, more than 2/3 of the senate, send as message that our friends on the other side of this building have heard the call of the people of this country, to restore the rule of law. have heard the call of law
enforcement to get real and enforce our laws. have heard the call of employers who want a high-skilled work force. have heard the call of families who simply want to be safe in their homes as they work hard to make our country stronger. and that's why i'm proud to be part of a coalition of house members that introduced a bill similar to the senate bill, the bipartisan bill, h.r. 15, the border security, economic opportunity and immigration modernization act, which creates jobs, reduces our deficit, and provides a pathway to citizenship and unites families. immigration reform will provide significant economic growth, as immigrants will be able to contribute substantially to economic growth, increase wages and productivity. according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office, the senate immigration reform bill will lead to significant economic growth. over the next decade, comprehensive immigration reform will increase our g.d.p. by 3.3%.
that means raising wages for americans by $470 billion. that means creating an average of 121,000 jobs a year for americans. immigration reform also means that immigrants will pay more than $100 billion in additional taxes, including to state and local governments, to support the services that they've been using all along. it's not fair to our fellow americans, for people who are here without paperwork, illegally, to be using our public services without contributing with their taxes. and yet they support paying taxes. it's rare to meet people in this country who want to pay taxes, to a person that i've met with, they're ready. they're ready. they're patriotic. they're ready to contribute to our country. if only we'll let them. the bill also expands the number of visas from 65,000 to
110,000, that allows the cap to rise as high as 180,000 depending on the u.s. economy, to ensure that businesses don't have to compete for oversubscribed visa slots and can access the workers they need so we can grow the next great generation of companies here. because when a company is hiring and the technology -- in the technology field or computer programmer, they are going after the person and if they can't bring the person that they want here to fill that job, they will fill that job in india, they will fill that job in england, they will fill that job in south merks, it's a global economy -- america, it's a global economy. and as americans we want those jobs and that economic productivity here. the house refusal to take up immigration reform has cost this country over $5.3 billion in potential revenue so far. the cost continues to go up every day that we fail to act. one of the issues in the
contentious budget discussions about restoring fiscal solvency to our country is how we can repair our entitlement programs, make them secure for the next generation of retirees, take the solvency of social security trust fund, for example, the social security trust fund is already paying out more in retirement benefits than it receives in taxes. and from an actuarial perspective, that's scheduled to get worse as baby boomers age. but as a social security administration estimates, close to 2/3 of the eight million people who are here illegally currently work in an underground labor economy where neither their employers nor they are declaring their earnings or paying payroll taxes. imagine that. eight million more people paying in to social security to make sure that it's there for americans who have worked hard all their lives. we owe that to so many
americans who have paid in, that it is there for them and comprehensive immigration reform will ensure that that happens. today only about 37%, it's been estimated, of people who are here legally pay into social security with payroll taxes. and experts are estimating that our nation loses about $20 billion a year in payroll taxes. i want that number to be 100%. i want people who are working here in this country to pay their fair share, to ensure that americans who have worked hard and paid into social security their whole lives are able to retire with the benefits that were promised to them and that they planned heir lives around. while people who are here illegally are already helping to support social security to the tune of $12 billion a year, we are foregowing -- foregoing $20 billion a year, which is what it's been estimated they would pay in if only we let them.
if we can provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people who are here illegally, they will contribute hundreds of billions of dollars more to our social security system. $606 billion over the next 36 years. that funds a lifetime of retirement benefits for almost 2 1/2 million americans. just from those, we're not talking about letting new people into the country, we're t talking about changing the way that people get here, we're talking about people who are already here and working, we're just saying, pay your taxes. pay your taxes like other americans do. i was talking about health care costs. while people here illegally pay into some of the health care programs, to the tune of $115 billion for medicare, again, we're foregoing revenue and health care costses will continue to rise for american
families -- costs will continue to rise for american families because of the cost of the uninsured. as the center for immigration and studies estimates, the current cost of treating uninsured immigrants who enter this country without documentation is $4.3 billion a year, mostly at emergency rooms and free clinics. so, again, costs are being shifted to american citizens to pay for the health care of those who are here illegally. and the answer's simple. make them pay for it themselves. h.r. 15 does that. let's bring it to the floor. how much longer must we continue to subsidize the health care for people who haven't even followed our laws in working in our country? if we can pass it, a comprehensive immigration reform bill, that brings our underground economy out of the shadows, many of these immigrants, some of whom have been here for decades, who are currently receiving benefits
without paying for them, will be required to pay for their benefits. they'll be required to purchase health care or get insured through their employer. in doing so, our labor market will be healthier, more productive and generate economic growth. the people who are here illegally will no longer be able to undermine wages for american workers, because they're willing to work under the table without paying taxes and taking public benefits from others rather than paying for it themselves. that's why it's time to pass h.r. 15. there's only 10 legislative days left for the house of representatives to pass immigration reform. the thousands of men and women across the country who are fasting should send a strong message to this body. we need to ask immediately to pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship and helps rebuild our economy.
the average workweek is an example of many of the hardworking immigrants in our country on the farmworker side is 53 hours a week. the average wage of a noncitizen worker is $318 a week. until we can find a way to bring the underground economy out from the shadows, illegal immigration will continue to exert a downward pressure on wages for american workers, reward businesses that skirt the law, that hire people illegally, and provide a drag on our overall economy and job creation. there's no other bill that i know of that will create over 100,000 jobs for americans, redeuce our deficit by close to $200 billion, improve our national security and decrease the terrorist risk to our
homeland and unite hardworking families. and immigration reform will do that. the economic case is compelling. we've gone through some of the numbers here tonight. the security case is compelling in terms of making sure that people in our country cooperate with law enforcement in investigations, that we know who is here, and they're accountable for following our laws. the moral case for immigration reform is what is driving this to national prominence. moral issues trump our day-to-day concerns. when something is right or wrong. americans know that, they know that in their minds, they feel it in their heart and americans are good people, mr. speaker. and they want a country, they want to live in a country and be part of a country that reflect theirs values as americans.
and americans know that the way we handle immigration today doesn't do that it's not moral to take a hard working mother who plays a critical role with a job supporting her family away from her american children and put her in indefinite detention. it's not right to allow thousands of people to die at our border rather than secure it and not let people who shouldn't be here through. it's not right to force millions of people to live a secret and underground manner. isking exploitation, risking being found out at any turn. that's why, mr. speaker, the
faith-based community, from the evangelical coalition for immigration reform to the catholic bishops to the jews and muslims to nonbelievers have all joined together, not just to support immigration reform, but to be the strong, moral voice for comprehensive immigration reform. it's simply the right thing to do by our people, for our values, we are a nation of laws an we're a nation of immigrants. and we need those two to be consistent. rewe need to reflect our american values as a nation of immigrants. in our laws that welcome those who want to work hard and play by the rules to our shores and yet today we have people who have worked hard every day for years, for decades, who have american kids who've gone through our schools and are as
american as you and i, while their parents or their uncles or their aunts are still forced to live underground and in secrecy, despite being american in fact, they are not yet american in word. and again, there is no pathway there is no line for people to get right with the law. many people face what's called a lifetime bar, meaning that if they even try to come forward, they would have to live in some other country, they -- some other country they might not have been to for decades and likely might never be table return to where their kids are. when you ask that of people, they're not going to self-deport. that's not a good deal. what parent is going to want to leave their kids for the rest of their life and go to a
country they haven't been in for decades and don't have a job, might not even have family or friends. it doesn't meet the real-life needs of people in our country. what does is making sure that we hold people accountable for following our laws. let's create a provisional status, eventually they can earn a green card. it's also important to note hat h.r. 15 isn't granted -- granting citizenship to anybody. it's about creating the line, creating the pathway, creating the way that people can get behind, in line, those who are already in line. a minimum of 13 years before they're even eligible. to take the test or become a citizen. i've had the opportunity in estes park and in centennial, colorado, to be at these new zit seanship -- citizenship
ceremonies where we administer the oath of citizenship to new americans from across the world. it gives me great pride as an american, as the great grandchild of immigrants, as a member of congress, to be able to participate in welcoming people from holland from kenya, from israel, from brazil, from mexico, to name a few of the many countries that are represented at the two ceremonies that i got to be part of. and there are many more that would like to work hard beside their american brothers and cysters to make our country stronger. through acting on immigration reform, we can create jobs, reduce our deficit, improve our security, and most importantly, reflect what we know to be right in our values as americans. i have been speaking every week on the floor of the house since
the passage of the senate immigration reform bill about the need since we introduced the house immigration reform bill about the need to pass immigration reform in the house. i believe we have the votes, mr. speaker, i believe if h.r. 15, which has strong bipartisan sponsorship, if it was placed on the floor of the house i'm confident it would pass. i'm confident the senate would accept the improves the house had -- improvements the house has made, we moved to an outcome based model to hold border security accountable. i'm confident that president obama would sign that bill. there's two more weeks, mr. speaker, here. two more legislative weeks, eight more legislative dayers, i think america would like to see congress work a little harder here. we have 40-something days left in the year. most americans have to work more than eight days out of 40. i think americans would like to see us work 10 day, 12 darkse
god forbid, 25 or 30 days out of 40. that's what most americans do. and if we do that, mr. speaker, i know we can pass immigration reform. whether it takes a day, a week, a month. we owe it to our country to try. i've been disappointed to see the types of bills that we've been spending days debating here on the floor of the house these last few weeks and while these are of course issues that people care about, last week we talked about asbestos torts this week we talked about b.l.m. fracking regulations, an issue that reflects colorado near and dear to my district, i can tell you, the number of people from my district who have written in or called in on immigration reform has been, i think, 100 times, we looked at, we were talking about asbestos
reform last week, i department have a single constituent call in and say, what i want is congress to tackle asbestos reform. i haven't had one in the years i have been here. frack, frankly, my constituents have asked me to take action on but not the action that the house considered with the b.l.m. it's more like the bill that i sponsored, the -- which i offered as an amendment which was not allowed in the rules committee. even that, even though my district is home to fracking and b.l.m. lands, the number of calls on that issue is dwarfed by the overwhelming demand for immigration reform. there's never been an issue like it in the public's desire and passion for congress to act. it's an issue that our municipal governments can't fix. our state governments can't fix. only our federal government can secure our borders.
only our federal government can require workplace enforcement. only our federal government can determine who is here legally and who is here illegally. these are not things cities or states can do. with a void of federal leadership, states are around the edges trying to do what they can. they're talking about in-state tuition, working with deferred action, the president moved forward with the deferred action programs, provides at least a two-year respite for young detack toe americans who know no other country. but only lawmakers can address this issue and actually replace our broken, immoral, nonsensical immigration system with one that works and is enforced to restore the rule of law to our nation. and this problem won't go away. until congress acts. it won't resolve itself.
we can wait. we can wait. in five years, maybe there'll be 14 million people here illegally instead of 10 million. maybe there'll be a whole new yen ration of people that are here working illegally because we refused to enforce the laws, fuse to require that employers verify that people who work in their country -- in hair companies are here legally. we have a program, it's an optional program, so guess what? most employers don't do e-verify. you're an employer why do it if it's optional? under 10% of companies use e-verify. we need to make it easier to use so it's not a burden on small businesses but we need to make employment verification required, which h.r. 15 does. if we're ever going to get serious about ending the demand side of illegal immigration
which is people coming here for jobs, if they can't get the jobs, they're not going to be here. and we need to be serious about that, h.r. 15 does that. we need to be serious about securing our border. another important thing for americans to know is that securing our boarder is very important. it's only about half the issue. about half the people here illegally came legally and stayed and worked illegally. locking down that border absolutely -- and your never going to have 100%, but 99%, whatever you get there, that can reduce illegal immigration by about half. but the other half came here legally. meaning they were on a student visa but stayed illegally. there's a number of ways where it's legally -- legal to arrive here but they stay illegally. so we have to deal with both sides of that, which is why border security is great, it's important, but it's not enough.
it doesn't -- at the best cases, it reduces the number of people who enter our country illegally by about half. doesn't do a darn thing about the fact that there's 11 million people here illegally. doesn't do a tarn thing about people who will keep entering illegally because they actually enter legally and stay illegally. there's a lot of moving parts to this immigration boondoggle that the country will continue to find itself in until congress has the courage, the integrity, the desire to act. if there's other ideas, we're happy to hear them. we put h.r. 15 on the table. many ideas from the senate bill, if there's -- i know there's a number of bills that passed out of judiciary committee. there might be a way to bundle some of those together in what's been called piecemeal reform, if there's a way that we can create a holistic system that works. but if there is a piecemeal approach, mr. speaker, we need
to start having a meal of the pieces and seeing what the pieces are. i was in the software and internet industry before i was elected to office and we used to have a word for products that were much hyped and never delivered on, vapor ware. i feel this piecemeal approach could become vaporware if we on't start seeing actions. by the end of the year, if we work more than eight days out of 40, if we don't finish by the end of the year, we're here for three weeks in january. work on at time to immigration reform. what a way to unite the men and women of this body who care deeply about ebb suring our nation has a prosperous future, creating jobs if americans on both sides of the aisle which is why more than 2/3 of the
senate joined in a rare, bipartisan vote of support for immigration reform and has challenged this house to take var action. . we can do it, mr. speaker. we need to schedule the floor time to do that. we need to get the ideas that members from both sides of the aisle have on the table. we think h.r. 15 is an excellent, bipartisan vehicle, if the leaders of this body have other solutions we're happy to talk about them. but the most important thing that the american people already know and i hope the leadership of this body recognizes about immigration is it's not an issue that solves itself. it's not an issue that goes away. it's an issue that only becomes more salient year after year that congress fails to act. i call upon this body to bring forward h.r. 15 and to pass
commonsense immigration reform and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. does the gentleman offer a motion to adjourn? mr. polis: i move the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the house stands adjourned until 9:00 a.m.
they're talking about the automatic spending cuts. hope is that they could replace at least one year, maybe even less than a year of those cuts, change that around to other portions of the budget, mandatory spending program, increase revenue, not by increasing taxes but potentially raising fees in other areas and such. the hope is that they can cut some sort of middle ground on
that at least get a narrow agreement to deal with the sequester and set overall spending levels for federal discretionary spending in the new fiscal year and that would allow appropriators to write their budget and lessen the chances of a government shutdown come january 15. still a long ways to go but they're getting closer. >> in your article, the headline "hope grows," you talk about the house and senate appropriators, who are you hearing from? >> the senate appropriations chairwoman, barbara mikulski. house appropriations chairman hal rogers, are among those pushing very hard to get a top line agreement on the overall discretionary spending number by early december. they're hoping that they can write a big omnibus spending bill for the entire federal government rather than a straight line stopgap continuing resolution which appropriators hate to do, when you bounce from month to month
and threat ton shut down. they're not able to set their priorities legislatively. the hope is that they could reach a deal on the overall spending level and if they do it will make their job easier. host: when senate republican leader mitch mcconnel came over to speak to republicans on tuesday, what did they hear about the negotiations? what did he tell them? guest: he said the party should stick to the budget control act levels, meaning in the new fiscal year, after january 15, when the new round of sequestration takes effect, it would drop -- it would lessen overall federal spending to $957 billion. he really wants to stick to that number. the issue ha though that those cuts, those sequestration cuts, come from defense programs. there was a $21 billion hit to defense programs. a lot of republican defense hawks are very concerned about that and told mcconnel that
directly in that closed door session. so that's the issue that republicans are going to have to struggle with. they do want to cut spend bug don't want to see these cuts hit from defense programs. that's what is the incentive for a lot of republicans to cut a deal now to avoid those cuts to the pentagon. guest: you mentioned appropriators wanting to get some sort of number by early december. that december 13 date looming out there. what are a couple of the possible trouble areas that could pop up to grind the whole thing back to a halt again. host: it comes down to the issue of taxes that revenue -- guest: that revenues. democrats are saying they're open to consideration, things that would raise revenue that do not involve closing loopholes that would raise revenue, something republicans don't want to raise revenue, raise any tax of any kind. if there is not a large enough number where they could raise
revenue from other areas and democrats insist on azing taxes, at least it's to make up some of the changes to sequestration they're talking about that could blow up a deal at the end of the day. also if republicans insist on deeper cuts, mandatory spending program like medicare, health-based entitlement programs, that could blow things up too in the end. it's really the same issue, taxes and entitlement programs that have dogged congress for so many years and the two members will have to get around to get even a small targeted deal by early december. host: senior political reporter on politico manu raju. thank you for bringing us to speed. guest: thank you. >> earlier today house democratic whip steny hoyer criticized house republican leadership for scheduling votes on bills he said have in chance of becoming law. he said the house should take
up legislation dealing with next year's budget, immigration and a bill to prohibit employers from discriminating against gay people. i see four people in the gallery. i see three members on the floor. the galleries are empty. the floor is empty. because we are not doing anything. and it's not because we don't ave a lot of things to do. e have six, seven if you count tomorrow, where we will leave by in the x full days left session in 2013. and yet we fiddle here while the country sees itself burning.
on bills that are going nowhere, that have no priority, and deal with the subject energy which happily is one of the most successful places we are at in america today. where we are fast becoming the energy independent, low-cost energy of the world. and we have no budget conference coming to this floor scheduled, in the six full days we have left, and the two other days that may be counted in which we come in at :30 and meet for probably a half-hour or -- 6:po and -- 6:30 and meet for probably a half our or hour and vote on suspension bills. yet we have spent in this entire week, we left, of course, hardworking day yesterday, we left doing work at 2:30 in the
afternoon. no bunt conference -- budget conference. no fiscal policy. no solution to the crisis that confronted us when we shut down government. i urge that we have a budget conference report by november 22nd, that's tomorrow. so that we didn't, as our practice has been in recent months and years, to confront real issues only when crisis gives us no other alternative. no immigration reform has been brought to the floor. although it passed the senate with 68 votes. comprehensive immigration reform which will address a problem that every member on this house says is an immigration system hat is broken.
the majority leader said that the other day. and i asked him about the four bills that our republican friends, mr. speaker, have reported out of committee. but they languish somewhere in the netherworld, not brought to the floor for consideration by this house. and yet we have time to consider bills that will have no impact, which the president says he'll veto, and are not bipartisan bills were reported out of committee on a partisan fashion, as somewhat the legislation we consider on the house floor is. partisan, nonconfrontational, yet a comprehensive immigration reform bill that had 68 votes, over 2/3 of the united states senate, 14 republicans, voted for that bill. yet the speaker says he's not for it and won't bring it to the floor. that's the same speaker that says let the house work its
will. the house cannot work its will if the legislation is not brought to the floor by the house, which can only be done by the republican majority, mr. speaker, as you know. so they keep that bill from being considered, although c.b.o. says it will help the economy, grow jobs, and fix a broken system. six full days left to go on the schedule in 2013. yet the farm bill reported out of the committee two years ago on a bipartisan fashion, in the last congress but never brought to this floor. while we twiddled our thumbs while rome burned. the farm bill lies languishing in conference committee because a bipartisan bill passed by the united states senate was not
considered in this house, but a partisan bill with almost no democratic votes, and the second piece of that farm bill, the nutritional part, with not a single democratic vote -- may i have -- mr. mcgotsche: i yield two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: it lies languishing in a conference committee because it was passed in an extraordinarily partisan fashion. the american people say let's act bipartisanly. we did. with democratic and republican votes, the farm bill came out of the agriculture committee. and turned into a partisan bill on this floor by my republican colleagues. so it languishes. six days left. with the farm bill expiring on
december 31. no action. no progress. we need to pay our doctors a proper compensation for the services they give. i'm sure the gentleman from the rules committee who is himself a medical doctor understands this necessity. we need to fix the sustainable growth but it languishes somewhere out in the nether world while we have six days left. unfixed, unscheduled. i've asked the majority leader numerous times, it's not going to be brought to the floor. it's not to the floor. discrimination in the workplace. passed by the senate in a bipartisan fashion. enda. not going to be brought to this floor. speaker says he's opposed to it. so the house will not be able to work its will. again, on a piece of legislation that in my opinion would have a majority on the votes on this floor. no doubt in my mind. and i'm the whip, i count
votes, mr. speaker, as you know. and it would have the majority of votes on this floor. but the speaker and majority leader will not bring it to this floor. unemployment insurance for 1.2 million people ends on december 31 and we have six days left to go of full work. and two partial days when we come in at 6:30. yet unemployment insurance has not been brought to this floor. to be extended for those 1.1 million people with still 7.2% or 7.3% unemployment. and unemployment insurance, a critically important issue. it's somewhere out there, but not on this floor, while we consider legislation this entire week that the majority knows will not pass. -- will not pass the united states senate and will not be signed by the president of the
united states even if it was. but they make a message, perhaps, to their base. politics. while the budget conference, immigration reform, the farm bill, the sustainable growth rate, doc reimbursement for medicare patients, discrimination in the workplace, unemployment insurance. to that, ould add tax extenders. none of it on this floor. mr. mcgovern: i yield the gentleman two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: no one ought to ask themselves why the american people holds this institution in such low regard. none of us who have served in this institution for any period of time are proud of what we're doing in this congress. -- we lament the
unwillingness of the leadership of this house to have us do work that the american public knows we must be doing. and so, mr. speaker, i rise. i rise today in support of the previous question. this is not just an ordinary previous question. what this previous question says, we will not adjourn, american people. we will not adjourn. on december 13 as is projected by the majority to be the date on which we adjourn. we will not adjourn until such time as we have done the important work that the american people expect of us. the responsible work that the american people expect of us. the work that we ought to expect of ourselves.
so we consider this bill. but i would hope that we would defeat the previous question and if we defeat the previous question, then we will bring to this floor a resolution which will say, we shall not adjourn until we have done a budget conference that precludes fiscal crisis, shutting down government a refusal to pay america's debts. that we pass an immigration reform bill that fixes what a broken knows is system, until we bring a farm bill to the floor which will preclude farmers and consumers and those who need nutritional help being put at risk. one additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. i have in my hand a letter, this is not a letter from democrats,s that letter from 13 republicans, leaders, chairs,
of subcommittees of the appropriation committee that say to the budget conference committee, bring a solution to the floor before the thanksgiving break and no later than december 2. and yet, ladies and gentlemen -- and yet, ladies and gentlemen of this house, mr. speaker, and yes, mr. speaker, all of us speak to the american people who ought to be asking we waste , why do time when so much important work remains to be done. defeat the previous question. allow us to offer a resolution which will say to the american people, we will continue to work until we get your work done. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas.
mr. burgess: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i want to associate myself with the remarks of our distinguished whip. it is frustrating to serve in the people's house and to watch as this leadership purposely tries to avoid doing the people's business. it is frustrating when you go home and talk to farmers and they want to know where the farm bill is. it is frustrating when you talk to people about immigration and they look at what happened in the united states senate where it passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support. we can't even get anything scheduled here. we can't get anything scheduled here. it is frustrating when people, you know, are still reeling over the fact that the republicans shut the government down and they want to make sure we don't repeat it and yet we have no budget resolution, no budget conference that's been
put together. to make sure we are on a road map, we don't have any more of these ted cruz-led shutdowns around here. so it is frustrating. and i think the gentleman from maryland said it very clearly, that the american people are frustrated. it's not just democrats, it is democrats and republicans that are frustrated. and -- >> parliamentary inquiry, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will state his -- does the gentleman yield? the gentleman from massachusetts yield in mr. mcgovern: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will state his inquiry. >> is it in order to refer to members of the other body by name? the speaker pro tempore: the chair will not provide advisory pinions. mr. mcgovern: we don't want another ted cruz-led shutdown
here in the senate. the american people are fed up with that. as the distinguished minority whip pointed out, we're not even in session more than six days from now until the end of the year. which is absolutely unconscionable. and you said, well, maybe the republicans are planning to do something, you know in the future. maybe they have an agenda for the future and then we read in politico that last thursday a group of house republicans filed into majority leader cantor's office suite and received a blank piece of paper labeled agenda 2014, just like this, mr. speaker. this is their agenda for 2014. a republican aide put it more bluntly by say, what we have done so far this year clearly hasn't worked. this is their ageneral ka for next year. might as well be the agenda for the rest of this year. it's nothing. nothing that's improving the quality of life for the people that we represent.
and again, it fuels a cynicism that the country majority party here doesn't seem to care about what happens to regular people. and that is very disconcerting. i guess they go back and say that their big accomplishment was that they complained about the affordable care act. over 40-something times they've brought bills to the floor to try to repeal it, never offering an altern toiv to improve it. never giving an alternative idea to help address the fact that tens of millions of our citizens don't have health insurance and millions do have health insurance but it's not health insurance, because when they get sick they realize they've been paying for a policy that provides them nothing. there's no alternative agenda to try to address those issues. it's just, they're against it. i guess it's easy to say no but the bottom line is i think the american people are looking for us to say yes to some things. so mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question, i will offer an amendment to the rule
to bring up house resolution 424, ranking member slaughter's resolution, prohibiting an adjournment of the house until we adopt a budget conference report. what that means is that we should not adjourn until we to our job. that shouldn't be a radical idea. i'd like to think there's bipartisan consensus that we ought to -- ought to do our job. that's what this would require. mr. speaker, i ask madam speaker consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record along with extraneous materials -- along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. mcgovern: i urge my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question, i urge a no vote on the rule and the underlying bills which to be honest with you are a waste of our time. they are going nowhere in the senate and the president has issued a veto threat on them. with that, mr. speaker, with one last urging of my republican colleagues to stay
here and do your work, with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: i thank the speaker. i yield myself the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burgess: you know, mr. speaker, it was a little over a year ago, the american people went to the polls and in their wisdom, they elected divided government. they knew what divided government looked like. they had seen it for the two years prior. the president came to town in 2009 and promised a lot of sweeping changes and he delivered on those sweeping changes during the first two years of his administration. had a health care bill passed. health care bill passed without a single republican vote. you talk about a partisan vote. the patient protection and affordable care act was a partisan vote and unfortunately, we're seeing now, as we have convulsed the
country with these changes that are occurring within the insurance system, we see the changes that are going to occur to our providers, our doctors, our hospitals, our nurses in the months ahead, this is a serious situation and it requires serious action be taken. i won't apologize for any action that's been taken by the majority in this house to try to rein in the excesses of the administration and the previous democrat controlled congress when they took over one sixth of the nation's economy in a partisan fashion without a ingle republican vote. of the sequester was passed in august of 2011. was passed at the request of the president. the gentleman's talked about shutdowns and defaults in the government, you remember that the sequester was the compromise proposed by the
president and the office of management and budget at the white house in order to prevent defaulting on our debt? a very difficult vote for many in this house. but what has the sequester delivered? the sequester delivered what no one had been able to deliver previous -- in the four years previously and that is a federal budget deficit below $1 trillion. doesn't sound like a big ask that the american people had, we want you to stop spending so much money, the sequester delivered on that promise. i find it strange now that the gentleman from massachusetts will impugn the integrity of people who voted in favor of that sequester when the president and the minority leader of the house of representatives now want to take credit for the fact that the deficit was cut in half over the last four years. the only reason it was cut in half is they raised it to unsustainable levels and the sequester reined that back. in it's likely that the deficit
and the end of fiscal year 2014 will be lower if we don't do something to damage the trajectory we are on. immigration bill passed by the senate, i don't think it's here at the house. i think it's got an origination problem and it's unconstitutional. if there's a bill at the desk, i'd be happy to look at it but i don't think that has occurred. and the gentleman knows that. this bill that we're considering today would lower the price of natural gas delivered to consumers in the state of massachusetts. i have a table prepared by the committee on energy and commerce, the average price for natural gas, the national average is $9.19 per thousand cubic feet. in massachusetts it's $13.18. so this is a bill today that could deliver product to the gentleman's constituents in massachusetts at a much more reasonable price. this sounds to me like a bill
that will help the economy. this sounds to me like a bill that would create jobs for the american people. i'd ask unanimous consent that the table prepared by the committee of energy and commerce be put in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. . burgess: the minority whip talked about the doc fix. our committee, the committee of the energy and commerce passed in a bipartisan fashion a repeal of the sustainible growth rate formula. i think it's a good bill. it's a bill where we had participation from both sides of the dieas, not a single consent -- dias, not a single consenting vote right before the august recess. there is another body here in the capitol building, they are considering their own version of a similar bill in the appropriate finance committee over in the other body. i don't want to prejudge or preclude what they will or won't do. i am anxious for them to do
something that would give us a negotiating point where we could consider moving forward with a final repeal of this problem. but in fact, the legislative branch consists of two bodies. this body and the other body on the other side. until the finance committee acts, there's little more that the energy and commerce can do to push that bill forward. mr. speaker, today's rule provides for consideration of a critical bill, to ensure our energy infrastructure needs are being met. mr. pompeo has done a good job. i applaud him and our committee for the thoughtful legislation. i urge my colleagues to support both the rule and the underlying bill. i'm now prepared to yield back >>